London in the summer is not the hottest place on Earth – the many Australians I run into around here mock us for finding it a bit muggy! But on a beautifully sunny day, the last thing you want to do is fill up your kitchen with a hot oven. Luckily, renowned Irish food stylist Sharon Hearne-Smith has, just in time for summer, published a collection of sweets which have one thing in common – no use of your oven. What No-Bake Baking means in practice is that plenty of other kitchen appliances are used in innovative ways: there are recipes using your breadmaker, your microwave, and lots of stove work. Hearne-Smith’s background as a stylist also shows through pretty clearly – lots of her simple creations are used in beautifully, stylish ways – so instead of rice krispy treats, it becomes a rice krispy roll and peppermint creams are shaped into mock-buttons. She has an eye for colour and texture and while I’m skeptical that I can replicate it at home at such a strong aesthetic level, but having tried some of the recipes, I have no doubt of the level of taste. This is a great book for hot summers and a wonderful book for people with small apartments or students – who need to make use of all their appliances!
Sesame Seed Snaps (from No-Bake Baking)
80g sesame seeds
20g dessicated coconut
250g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
Toast the sesame seeds and coconut (I do this in my oven and have to watch it like a hawk – it very easily becomes burnt.) Put caster sugar into a saucepan over a low heat and let the sugar caramelise. Don’t stir the sugar, but swivel the pot if necessary. It should become a lovely golden amber colour, almost liquidy.
Allow to cool – it will take about an hour. Then cut into pieces (it’s hard to cut quite precisely, so don’t worry if it’s irregularly shaped pieces.)